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Bamana N'tomo Mask Six Horns Mali African Art

Regular Price: $790.00

Special Price: $590.00

Product #: 94222
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Title Bamana N'tomo Mask Six Horns Mali Africa
Type of Object Ntomo Mask
Country of Origin Mali
People Bamana
Materials Wood and unknown metal
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 26.5 inches high x 8 inches wide x 6.5 inches deep
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair worn patina, chips old insect damage arrested. Dented metal and general wear.

Additional Information:  A superb  mask presenting  multiple horns and a Chi wara icon on the forehead. This is a Bamana mask of   N'tomo . Bamana N'tomo (N'Domo) masks serve to protect young boys during their first initiation cycle before circumcision.  The number of horns make reference to specific characteristics of males (three or six horns) or females (four or eight horns) and the androgynous (two, five or seven). The present mask has six horns , which means it is a male character. Some of its other features have also been symbolically interpreted: the small mouth indicates the value of silence or of thinking before speaking; the long nose expresses the metaphorical capacity to smell the good and bad qualities in people. And the antelope incarnates all the qualities associated to the Chi-Wara headcrest. N'Tomo masks never speak demonstrating their power to protect the young boys by its presence. It would be danced by mature men to protect the boys and it would also be worn by the boys as they would dance and test one another. Ntomo maskers wear simple cotton costumes, sometimes with raffia attached, and they test one another by striking each other with sticks to develop forbearance in future life.

Recommended Reading:

Sarah C. Brett-Smith, The Making of Bamana Sculpture Creativity and Gender. Cambridge University Press, 1994, 352p.

Jean-Paul Colleyn (editor), Bamana. The Art of Existence in Mali.Museum For African Art, New York, Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon, Gent; Museum Rietberg Zurich, 2001, 263p.